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San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: Committee to Elect Andrea D. Shorter, FPPC ID #980608




I. Introduction

This Audit Report contains information pertaining to the audit of the Committee to Elect Andrea D. Shorter Identification Number 980608 ("the Committee") for the period from January 1, 1998 through December 31, 1998. The audit was conducted to determine whether the Committee materially complied with the requirements and prohibitions imposed by the Political Reform Act ("the Act") (Government Code Section 81000, et seq.) and San Francisco’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance ("CFRO") (S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.100, et seq., formerly S.F. Administrative Code Section 16.501, et seq.).

For the period covered by the audit, the Committee received total contributions of $35,445 and incurred qualified campaign expenditures of $35,360. There were two material findings with respect to this Audit Report. For the reporting period ending December 31, 1998: 1) The Committee filed the paper copy of its campaign statements six months late, in violation of Government Code Section 84200(a); and 2) The Committee filed the electronic copy of its campaign statements five months late, in violation of S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.310.

II. Committee Information

The Committee was formed to support the election of Andrea D. Shorter for Member, Community College Board in the November 3, 1998 election. The Committee filed its initial Statement of Organization with the Secretary of State on March 16, 1998. The Committee qualified as a committee on March 28, 1998. The Committee has not terminated as of the date of this report. The Committee’s treasurer is Dorka Keehn.

III. Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter Section C3.699-11(4) mandates that the Commission audit campaign statements and other relevant documents to determine whether campaign committees comply with applicable requirements and prohibitions imposed by State and local law.

IV. Audit Scope and Procedures

This audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The audit involved a thorough review of the Committee’s records for the time period covered by the audit. This review was conducted to determine:

  1. Compliance with all disclosure requirements, pertaining to contributions, expenditures, accrued expenditures, and loans, including itemization when required;
  2. Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;
  3. Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans and expenditures;
  4. Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements and cash balances as compared to bank records; and
  5. Compliance with all record-keeping requirements.

V. Summary of Applicable Law

  1. Filing of Paper Copy of Campaign Statements

    The Act requires candidates who have controlled committees to file semi-annual campaign statements each year no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30, and no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31. (Government Code Section 84200(a)).

  2. Filing of Electronic Copy of Campaign Statements

    The Electronic Filing of Campaign Statements Regulation requires that candidate-controlled committees that receive contributions totaling $5,000 or more in a calendar year file campaign statements in electronic media whenever the committee is required by the Act to file a semi-annual, pre-election, or supplemental pre-election campaign statement. (S.F. Campaign and Governmental Code Section 1.310). This regulation also provides that campaign statements required in electronic form be filed by the same filing dates as set forth in the Act (Government Code Section 81000, et seq.).

VI. Material Findings

Late Filing of Campaign Statements

The Committee was required to file by January 31, 1999, the campaign statements covering the period October 18, 1998 through December 31, 1998. However, the paper copy of the statements covering this period was not filed until August 2, 1999 and the electronic copy was not filed until July 1, 1999. As a result, the Committee’s paper and electronic copies of campaign statements were filed 182 and 152 days late, respectively.

The treasurer, Dorka Keehn, explained that the statements for the above-referenced period were prepared and ready to be submitted by the filing deadline. However, since the candidate, Andrea D. Shorter was unavailable to review and sign the statements, the statements were not submitted at the time of the filing deadline.

VII. Conclusion

Through the examination of the Committee’s records and campaign disclosure statements, the Auditor verified that the Committee accurately disclosed all contributions received and expenditures made and that the Committee maintained the necessary documentation regarding contributions and expenditures. However, for the reporting period ending December 31, 1998, the Committee failed to timely file its campaign statements in violation of Government Code Section 84200(a) and S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.310.

Audit reports are posted to the Commission’s web site and are forwarded to the Members of the Ethics Commission and, in cases of a violation of law, to the appropriate enforcement agency.

Date:  July 26, 2000

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